Prasanna

Prasanna

BandJazzWorld

Hard driving Carnatic music fused with hi energy Jazz/Rock to create a unique listening experience

Biography

"Prasanna plays guitar quite simply like nobody on the planet" - Allaboutjazz.com

"I've never heard an electric guitar sound like that" - Utah Statesman, USA

"As instantly recognizable as Carlos Santana or Jimi Hendrix" - India Currents, USA

"The music on this CD can only be the work of a great musician" - Bass legend Victor Wooten on Prasanna's 'Electric Ganesha Land' CD

"A highly accomplished plectorist and true world music visionary" - Jazziz, USA

He just cannot strike a false note ever - Indian Express, Chennai, India

"When Prasanna plays the blues, you can hear the world" - Time Out Magazine, Mumbai, India

"Refreshingly clever, psychologically uplifting ideas"-
Downbeat Magazine, USA

"The musical boundary-crossing Prasanna was an apt choice" - Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia

"Displays formidable guitar chops and compositional ambitions" - Jazz Times, USA

"I was left with the distinct feeling that I had seen a master at work" - The Hindu, Chennai, India

"Prasanna is a wondrous wake-up call for tired aural neurons" - EERMusic

"Indian guitarist Prasanna stirs a pot of intoxicating, heady world fusion" - Bass Player Magazine, USA

"Prasanna is clearly an artist with a broad understanding and even deeper ability to interpret"- Jazzreview.com

'How can you play carnatic music on the guitar?' was a question that everyone asked when Prasanna took to playing one of the world's most ancient and complex musical traditions - Indian Classical Carnatic music on a standard electric guitar. 22 years later, people still ask the same question but this time in disbelief at Prasanna's stunning ability to bring some of the most demanding microtones that exist in music on a regular fretted electric guitar without the aid of any external sliding devices. Add to that pioneering guitar technique, a thorough understanding and performance experience of Jazz, Rock, Blues and several other contemporary idioms, you get the real essence of Prasanna's music - Peppered with an academic perspective that comes out of a world class engineering education from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology and a degree in Classical Composition from Boston's famed Berklee College of Music, Prasanna is certainly one of the world's most ecclectic artists.

Prasanna's prolific body of work includes over ten Carnatic albums, a highly acclaimed Jazz Fusion album 'Be the Change' featuring several Grammy Award winning artists from the Jazz world, an eclectic solo guitar album 'Peaceful', a special triple guitar project 'Guitars' with the Belgian band Aka Moon, an original score for contemporary dance theater adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Tempest' with a premiere in Sydney, Australia, a work for Contemporary and Fusion dance 'Sanaatana' premiered at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, yet another work for contemporary dance 'Soliloquy', 'Jazz Impressions of a Kriti #1' written for Prasanna and jazz orchestra by Marc Rossi, numerous sessions work on multi-platinum Indian film soundtracks for such top composers as A.R. Rahman, and many more. His orchestration and arranging credits include the title score for the Oscar nominated Bollywood film 'Lagaan'. Prasanna's acclaimed guitar instructional DVD 'Ragamorphism', gives an in-depth look at how he stretches the boundaries of improvisation.

The North Sea Jazz Festival, Middelheim Jazz Festival, Festival Guitares Du Monde, La Fete de la Musique, Les Orientales De St. Florent Le Vieil, Festival Jazz En Artois, PanaFest, Lotus world music festival are some of the top international festivals Prasanna has performed at. He has performed/recorded with legendary names in the Jazz/ Fusion world including Joe Lovano, Larry Coryell, Victor Wooten, Airto Moreira, Alphonso Johnson, Steve Smith, Kenwood Dennard, Ralph Humphrey, Jeff Coffin, David Gilmore, Aka Moon, Kai Eckhardt, Rodney Holmes etc and from the Indian music world such as Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Illayaraja, Dr. L. Subramaniam, A.R.Rahman and several others.

Prasanna's forthcoming album 'Electric Ganesha Land' is a tribute to Jimi Hendrix and extends his sonical creativity even more by adapting everything from classic rock to metal to grunge with entirely a traditional Indian Classical Carnatic percussion rhythm section.

As a true artist, Prasanna is both a traditionalist and modernist and everything in between.

Discography

Original Prasanna music releases:
As leader:

1) Electric Ganesha Land - Susila Music, April 2006

Prasanna - guitars/bass/konnakol, Haridwaramangalam A.K. Palanivel - thavil, B.S. Purushotham - kanjira, S. Karthick - ghatam, Prapancham Ravindran - mridangam

2) Ra Rama (traditional Carnatic music), Kosmic Music - Dec 2005

3) Be the Change - Susila Music, 2004

Prasanna - electric/acoustic guitars/vocals/konnakol, Victor Wooten - bass, Alphonso Johnson - bass, Andy Suzuki - tenor saxophone/flute/alto flute/alto sax/clarinet/bass clarinet/acoustic piano, Jeff Coffin - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass clarinet, Shalini - vocals, Ralph Humphrey - drums, Derico Watson - drums

4) Ragamorphism - Guitar Instructional DVD - Susila Music, 2004

5) Peaceful - Susila Music, 2001

Prasanna - electric /acoustic guitars/ acoustic 12 string guitars/ keyboards/ synth and drum programming/ tala, J. Vaidhyanathan - mridangam, S. Karthick- ghatam/morsing, Chandrasekhar - additional synth programming, Aravind - additional drum programming

6) Natabhairavi - (traditional Carnatic music), Inreco, Dec 2000

7) Shakthi - The Omnipotent - (traditional Carnatic music), Music Today, Dec 2000

8) Echo - Sai Bhajans on guitar, Saican, Canada - Sept 2000

9) Roots - (traditional Carnatic music), Sangeetha/HMV, India, Dec 1997

10) Guitar Indian Style - (traditional Carnatic music), Oriental Records, USA, Sept 1995

11) Spirit of Youth - (traditional Carnatic music), Saragam records, India, 1993

12) Vibrant Aesthetics - (traditional Carnatic music), INRECO, India, 1993

13) Evergreen Classicals on Guitar - (traditional Carnatic music), Keerthana, India, 1993

14) Evergreen Melodies on Guitar - (traditional Carnatic music), Keerthana, India, 1993

15) Guitar Goes Classical - (traditional Carnatic music), Audiofine/Super Audio, India, 1993

As film composer:
Original score for the Film 'Framed' directed by Chetan Shah, Fall 2006 release in India

Special collaborative projects:

1) With Aka Moon:

Guitars - De Werf, Belgium, 2002

Fabrizio Cassol - alto saxophone, Michel Hatzigeorgiu - bass, Stephane Galland - drums, Prasanna - guitar, David Gilmore - guitar, Pierre Van Dormael - guitar

2) With A.R. Rahman

orchestrated the title score for 2002 Foreign Film Oscar nominee 'Lagaan' with music composed by A.R. Rahman - Sony

3) Pep Album - Carnatica music, 2000
Arranged and orchestrated Carnatic kritis in modern contemporary western styles. Featured Prasanna - guitars/ vocals, Sowmya - vocals, Sashi Kiran - vocals, Shalini - vocals, V.S. Narasimhan - violin, Keith Peters - bass, Suresh Peters - electronic drum pads, B.S. Purushotham - kanjira, Neyveli Narayanan - mridangam

As special guest:

1) Soundtrack for French film 'Essaye Moi'. Directed by Pierre Francois Martin Laval with music composed by Pierre Van Dormael, 2006
2) Moving - Tony Grey, 2004
3) Peace in Progress - Manisha Shahane, 2004
4) Play by Ear - Deep C, 2002

Selected discography Bollywood/ Tamil/ other Indian film soundtracks:

1)Ghajini - Harris Jayaraj, 2005
2) Mumbai Express - Illayaraja, 2005
3) Swades - A.R. Rahman, 2004
4) Dil ne jisa apne kaha - A.R. Rahman, 2004
5) Lagaan - A.R. Rahman, 2001
6) Udhaya - A.R. Rahman, 2002
7) Ramana - Illayaraja, 2000
8) Vanchinathan - Karthik Raja, 2000
9) Dum Dum Dum - Karthik Raja, 2000
10) Kizhakkum Merkkum - Illayaraja, 1998
11) Pukar - A.R. Rahman, 1998
12) Enn Swasa Kattre - A.R. Rahman, 1998
13) Jeans - A.R. Rahman, 1998
14) Split Wide Open - Karthik Raja, 1998
15) Grahan - Karthik Raja, 1997
16) Kadhala Kadhala - Karthik Raja, 1997
17) Naam Iruvar Namakku Iruvar - Karthik Raja, 1997
18) Zor - Agosh, 1997
19) Harichandra - Agosh, 1997
20) Ullasam - Karthik Raja, 1996
and numerous other soundtracks

Set List

Set list for original Prasanna band concerts:
From the following
1) Ragabop
2) Pangaea Rising
3) Kalyani Connection
4) Uncensored
5) Dharma becomes Alibama
6) The Grapevine
7) Satyam
8) Bliss Factor
9) Ta ka ta ki ta Blues
10) Peaceful
11) Blues for Saraswathi
12) Blink of an eye
13) Ode to Kubla Khan
14) Snakebanger's Ball
15) Iguana on a Funky Trail
16) Pot Belly Blues
17) Sri Jimi
18) Eruption in Bangalore
19) Dark Sundae in Triplicane

Set list for duo concerts:
From the above along with special pieces composed for duo settings.

solo unaccompanied guitar concerts:
Anything from spontaneously improvised pieces to ecclectized versions of 'Norwegian Wood' and other Beatles songs to Jazz Standards and more

Set list for traditional Carnatic concerts:
Compositions of Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Syama Sastri, Muthiah Bhagavathar, Mysore Vasudevachar and numerous others